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Find your sleep animal to improve energy and productivity

According to sleep specialist Dr. Michael Breus, our daily routines can be broken down into four sleep animals—bear, lion, wolf, and dolphin.

Each animal represents a chronotype, which is the unique biological rhythm that regulates when you are most productive, most likely to exercise, as well as ready and needing to sleep.



Let’s see which one sounds most like you.


About 50% of people are bears. Bears will want a full 8 hours to sleep in order to get moving for the day. People who are bears are most productive in pushing out difficult tasks from 10 am to 12 pm. Bears will want to hit the gym early evening, while an hour of brainstorming is best left for right after dinner.

About 15-20 percent of people are Lions. Lions wake up with tons of energy and do their big-picture planning by 7 am. Holding meetings and smashing out work by mid-afternoon, but all this activity means Lions are exhausted by the evening. That’s why they are the earliest to bed of all the animals, drifting to sleep by around 10:30 pm.

About 15-20 percent of people are Wolves. Wolves are most alert late in the evening. They’ll might need a few alarms to get them out of bed, and don’t get into their best work until later than the other sleep animals. Most big ideas will get looked at after lunch, with dinner at 8 pm. Wolves will finally drift off to sleep around midnight, making sure they set those alarms so they’ll wake up in the morning!

The final 10 percent of people are Dolphins. If you suffer from insomnia or are a light sleeper, you may well be a dolphin. Dolphins rise on the earlier side and do their creative work right after breakfast and coffee. They may need to take a brisk afternoon walk to shake off sleepiness before diving into mentally taxing work.

Which animal sounds most like you? What times would you do things if you had complete freedom to choose your schedule? Getting to know your chronotype means you can build your schedule more around this internal rhythm, leading to greater productivity and energy.

Find your sleep animal so that you can work with your body, not against it.

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